Do This Now: Make Sure You’re Prepared for Evacuation

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Severe weather has been increasingly frequent in recent years, and 2020 has certainly not slowed down.

The western states have seen a historic wildfire season that charred more acres than any previous year, with some of the largest fires in recorded history. On top of that, we’ve had a hyperactive and record-breaking hurricane season. We’ve even seen more named storms make landfall in the United States than ever before, and hurricane season isn’t officially over yet.

We never know what the weather might do, no matter how hard we try to accurately predict it. That’s why being prepared for evacuation is so important.

Having a Plan

Preparing for an evacuation should begin before there is ever any danger. Sit down and create a plan for the entire household. It should include plans for evacuating, plus plans for communication in the event that you aren’t together when evacuation happens. Have out-of-state contacts that everyone knows to call.

Make sure to include any pets as part of the plan, too. You don’t want to leave your furry (or not-so-furry) friends behind to fend for themselves. Make sure that if you’re planning to stay somewhere like a hotel, that you find options that are pet-friendly.

Establish a meeting area outside of your home in the event that your home is in immediate danger. Plus, have a backup meeting location in the event you don’t have access to your primary meeting place.

Go over the plan with everyone in the household to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Have an Emergency Supply Kit

Having supplies stashed for every household member is very important for evacuation preparation. These supplies should be in easy-to-reach locations so that you can grab them quickly in the event of emergency. Here’s what you should include:

  • Water, 3 gallons per person
  • Nonperishable foods, and don’t forget a can opener!
  • First aid kit
  • Extra phone/device chargers
  • Change of clothes
  • Seven-day supply of medications
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Hygienic products
  • Pet food and extra water, if you have pets
  • Copies of important documents, like birth certificates and passports

Document Your Possessions

In the event your home suffers damage, you want a record of your home and possessions. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re trying to file claims with the insurance company.

You can do this on your cellphone. Take plenty of photos and video of everything inside your home, especially valuable or irreplaceable items. And don’t forget the exterior of your home, too. You want to have a detailed record of your possessions and the home itself.